Do what you love: Samantha Stewart of Smelly Shoes Vintage

SSV Shoes

Samantha and I met over twitter. She’s owns S.S.Vintage a clothing and accessories online shop.  She lives in NY and loves her boyfriend, vintage clothing and fashion, kittens, funny movies, coffee, and rap music. She shares with Unik Apparel readers her Etsy journey and cute kitties. Get your favorite coffee and read on!

Tell me how and when everything started.
I first signed up for Etsy about four years ago. At first I sold my own handmade items in Lucys Postcard Quilts a shop I share with my friend, Sally. Everything from sewing, knitting, needle felting, and doll clothes to jewelry making and fabric postcards. Sally and I both really loved the Etsy Shop format, and the community.

Then, about a year and a half ago I was noticing how popular vintage items we’re becoming on Etsy, and I love thrifting, so I opened up S.S.Vintage. I had no idea how it would go, or what vintage I would be able to hunt down in my area, and I was nervous I might not even sell anything! My first idea was to have a shop full of vintage shoes and nothing else. I think it was a week (or less!) before I decided there are too many awesome vintage goods out there to only focus on shoes. The more you look for vintage the more you find amazing pieces you can’t possibly leave behind, and the store has been constantly expanding since it opened!

When did you first know that you wanted to be your own boss?
I don’t ever remember a time when I didn’t want to work for myself! Even when I’ve had other jobs (and I’ve enjoyed some of them), I always daydreamed about working for myself, from my home, one day.

If you weren’t a business owner, what would you like to be doing?
I always thought it would be fun to be a librarian. Or I would like to take photographs professionally!

SSV As a Kid

Tell us about your fabulous store and what products or serviced do you offered?
My store is on Etsy, and it’s called ‘Smelly Shoes Vintage’! I started out selling Vintage shoes and clothing, and have expanded to vintage jewelry and accessories like sun glasses, purses and belts. I also have unique old cameras, toys and dolls, even some house wares! I currently have over 400 vintage items for sale.

The largest section in the shop is the Vintage Jewelry and Accessories section. If you need costume jewelry, a new brooch, a gift for a friend, or a unique piece of jewelry for that special outfit, you have to come see what’s at The S.S. Vintage!

How would you describe your personal style?
I’m currently having a lot of fun with some 80’s styled items! T-shirt’s that hang off one shoulder, side pony tails, and bangle bracelets! When I’m home, I’m more about comfort! Tank tops, clothes I steal from my boyfriend (My favorite!), hooded sweatshirts, a very casual style.

Who is your favorite designer?
I don’t really have one designer that I would call a favorite! (That’s so boring, I know!). I don’t follow all the right fashion news and runways. I like to choose what I wear and accessorize with on a piece by piece basis. I like a mix of vintage and new, designer statement pieces and basic staples. A mix of bright and bold with neutral and natural earth tones.

SSV Ferragamos

If you had a choice of all designers in the world, who would you prefer to work for? Why?
Another boring answer, but I really don’t know! Anyone that would teach me how to incorporate vintage style with new fashion. Someone who also wouldn’t mind taking on a total novice of an apprentice! 🙂

Are there any special projects you would like to work on?
I just purchased my first DSLR Camera. My main project right now is learning the camera, and practicing taking photographs.

In the future as far as The SS Vintage goes, I started a blog for the shop www.SmellyShoesVintage.BlogSpot.Com, I’d love to find someone to model my vintage wares and I’d love to team up with some other vintage sellers/bloggers so I can host some giveaways/features on my new blog.

Which magazines do you read? Which magazine is your favorite?
Well, the only magazine that I get delivered currently is ‘FIGHT’ Magazine! My boyfriend and I both like MMA (and UFC), and that’s the one magazine we have a subscription to. I read an occasional ‘Rolling Stone’ here and there, and if I see a fashion magazine laying around I’ll always flip through it. There is so much information online now, so many blogs and news articles, I usually get most of my information this way instead of purchasing lots of magazines.

What do you see on stores that you think is really great?
I love when I see a real person model in a store instead of clothing just on hangers or even a dress form. It always makes me wish I knew some boys and girls nearby that I could get to model for the shop, or some friends that would let me take their picture!

I think it’s really great too when you’re buying vintage if you can read a little bit of history about that piece or brand while you’re shopping! I like that kind of information.
SSV Persian Kittens
What do you do in your downtime?
Listen to my iPod as much as possible. I love taking pictures and photography, watching movies and spending time with my boyfriend, chasing around and taking care of our new pair of persian kittens (And spoiling them like crazy). My Boyfriend is a chef, and we’re foodies and love to cook, try new restaurants/foods, and actually have a Food blog just for fun! (FoodCameraBlog.BlogSpot.Com). I love to travel whenever I have the opportunity.

What motivates you?
The desire to keep my etsy store going and to keep selling vintage, so I can keep working for myself. I feel like I have the best job, and I want to make sure I can keep doing it!

Other vintage/fashion sellers and bloggers are a real inspiration to me too. They are doing what I’m trying to do! Selling vintage they’ve thrifted, putting in long hours with lots of creativity and energy, and making it into a full time job!

Finding a new fun treasure at a thrift store or antique shop gets me excited oftentimes too and I come home motivated to add lots of new things to the shop and show off the new finds!

What’s next for you?
I’m working on starting a SSVintage Blog! Also, we’re doing a huge rearrangement and remodel of our apartment. That’s totally exciting and on an Etsy related note, I’m going to work on a new space/area for everything vintage and etsy related. More organization means I can keep on expanding!

Thanks to Samantha  for sharing her story! You can visit her Shop, Twitter, Blog and Facebook for more info.

Author: Rose Wheeler

Hey, I'm Rose! I work with words on a daily basis as a content manager and writer. When I'm not working with my awesome clients, I enjoy cooking, yoga, styling, blogging and curling up with a good book.

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